"Red tape is an idiom that refers to excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making. It is usually applied to governments, corporations, and other large organizations.

One definition is the "collection or sequence of forms and procedures required to gain bureaucratic approval for something, especially when oppressively complex and time-consuming". Another definition is the "bureaucratic practice of hair splitting or foot dragging, blamed by its practitioners on the system that forces them to follow prescribed procedures to the letter".

Red tape generally includes filling out paperwork, obtaining licenses, having multiple people or committees approve a decision and various low-level rules that make conducting one's affairs slower, more difficult, or both. Red tape can also include "filing and certification requirements, reporting, investigation, inspection and enforcement practices, and procedures"

We, at India, at some stage or the other must have experienced the red tapism – And largely in every corner of the government departments and for some extent even in private sector as well we must have seen it is happening today also! No matter how many governments change – no matter how many years passed to our freedom but our struggle is continuing. A struggle to get bureaucratic approvals, struggle to get certificates- sometimes may be birth certificate or even for death certificates as well!everyone in the system is asking for…’What am I Getting!”

Have you ever gone behind the real reason of red tapism and how have it started in INDIA! Money is not the only reason behind it – Jealousy, inefficiencies, lethargic attitude, unprofessional-ism, character building (rather non-building), values, caste n creed, cultural imbalance…any many more likely reasons. But bottom line is it hurts us – it slows down our growth and image in world map!

Recently I came across an article – that even our new Modi government at centre is unable to escape from this red tapism…

This red tapism has the same effect on our speed of growth like when we try to drive a vehicle with hands-brake ON! – We will never able to achieve our optimum speed if all the time hands brakes are on.

Every new scheme gets roadblocks in terms of red tapism- and eventually kills the larger objective by which it was launched! That is the reason we may have seen many new schemes being launched by many government and private initiatives but they have not reached to their larger goals- because of the roadblocks. So, we need to build bye-passes to these roadblocks if we need to succeed as a nation! Let us do work online / e-governess / e-clearances etc, nice words to hear.

Let me share one small incident – At one of my visits to government department- I came across this e-clearance initiative and was very amazed to know that from first step to last step the department has made the process online. But my happiness was temporary- sooner I realized that in the so-called online process also – Red Tapism is ‘embedded’they say if we allow whole process online then “What am I getting!” But fortunately, in my case – I convinced them that if you kill the golden hen at once then you will stop getting golden eggs daily!

So, we need to get-up and do lot of cleaning...not only outside but also inside cleansing.

Appreciate your ideas & suggestions and share your short stories on red tapism. One of the suggestions I would like to make here - that to minimize this red tapism – govt should introduce a fixed convenience fee on each task – Imagine your work is successfully done in timely manner – you will love to give happily convenience fee – which will be officially distributed within respective departments. Win-win for all... God Bless Our Country...

Keep pouring your ideas and let’s take a pledge to clean the systems as well…

-Submitted by:-

Nitasha Ailawadi

Llyod Law College, Noida

Subscribe to Our Newsletter